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Tensions in Digital Servitization through a Paradox Lens

Tóth, Zsófia and Sklyar, Alexey and Kowalkowski, Christian and Sörhammar, David and Tronvoll, Bård and Wirths, oliver (2022) 'Tensions in Digital Servitization through a Paradox Lens.', Industrial marketing management., 102 . pp. 438-450.


Two of the most disruptive changes in today’s business markets are servitization and digitalization. Their increasing convergence into digital servitization leads to tensions both within and between organizations. The authors investigate such intra- and interorganizational tensions by applying a paradox theory lens. The study draws on 56 depth interviews and multiple site visits from two cases in the aerospace and maritime industries. Linked to the paradoxes of organizing, learning, belonging, and performing, eight tensions emerge from the findings. The intra-organizational tensions include digitally enabled control, digital upkeep, professional identity, and performance priorities. In turn, the interorganizational tensions comprise platform-based coopetition, information superabundance, organizational identity, and data utilization. For practitioners working with digital services, this study suggests an audit of tensions to inform continued formulations of a mitigation strategy.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:digital servitization; tensions; digitalization; digital transformation; business network; paradox theory
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date accepted:12 February 2022
Date deposited:17 February 2022
Date of first online publication:18 February 2022
Date first made open access:16 May 2022

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